Saturday, August 29, 2009

scratch challenges update

I'm using this challenge sheet with Year 10s at the moment and have updated it, improving the order of challenges and adding some extensions. The first one is very popular with students. Scratch is a free download.

btw there is a new scratch page for educators, scratched, but I haven't checked it out fully yet.


1) Use the Letter shapes to write your first name on the page. Then introduce some special effects such as making the letters wobble and change their appearance.

2) Point, click and move
Make an object both point and glide towards the mouse position when you click on the stage
Hint: Motion > point towards
Hint: Sensing > mouse down?

3) Make Dan or Anjuli or Cassy or ballerina dance to a beat, using all of their dance shapes

4a) Make two animals have a forwards and backwards conversation
Hint: Use broadcast
4b) Make it an interesting conversation with each animal speaking at least 3 times and making gestures too

5) Make 2 different balls move around on the stage
a) the first ball moves in straight lines but bounces randomly whenever it hits the edge
b) the second moves randomly, changing direction all the time

6a) One sprite chases another sprite around the stage. The first sprite moves in straight line but bounces off the edge randomly. The chasing sprite chases the first sprite but is moving slower.
b) Extension – if the chasing sprite catches the other sprite then it says something sensible and makes a suitable sound

7a) Play all the different drum sounds automatically
Hint: create a variable for the drum number
b) Extension – keep recycling through all the drum sounds automatically

8) Make a sprite gradually grow in size and then shrink
Hint: make a size variable

9a) Count down on a timer. A rocket takes off when you reach zero
Hint: Use the number icons in the letters folder
9b) Your rocket has pulsating exhaust and disappears at the top of the screen

10) Add, multiply or subtract two variable numbers
Hint: Just to do addition only you will need 4 variables: firstNum, secondNum, answer (computer calculated) and myAnswer (human calculated)

11) Variable coloured squares
a) Write a script that can draw a square of any size
Hint: Make a variable for the side length
b) Use the variable square script to draw a series of square with variable sides, with a single click
c) Now add variable pen colour and pen shade to the variable square script and use it to draw a variety of different coloured squares, with a single click


Simon Job said...

Bill, thanks for sharing the update, I used your previous version with my class this year.

Joe Bloggs said...

Hello Bill. I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for the Scratch activities. I am teaching games programming to senior high school students using Flash actionscript. Getting a grip on programming concepts and actionscript syntax is fairly challenging for them. In future I will use Scratch as a way of introducing programming concepts before moving on to Flash. It is amazing how far Scratch can be pushed! For instance, a decent calculator can be made using version 1.4's 'ask' block and 'answer' variable.

Ethics and Transparency In Politics said...

Thanks for the updated challenges Bill! My daughter (age 7) is using Scratch now - in typical ambitous mode her first project is a game, and we spend perhaps one hour each week working on it. It'll take some time, as she keeps adding features :-)
Good to have some projects for her to try without my around too, though she has picked up a reasonable amount and can get some interesting things done without assistance.